We made it to St. Louis! The first leg of our trip (Florida to Missouri) was pretty uneventful. The movers got to our apartment an hour late on Friday morning and we didn’t end up hitting the road until 3 hours after I originally planned so we kind of had to just drive all the way through to make up time. We got about half way by 11p Friday and stayed in Marietta, GA and then drove the rest of the way yesterday. Like I said, fairly uneventful. We will be visiting our families for a few days before the Missouri to California portion of the drive. I think that will be more eventful and scenic. I hope to get a picture of each state sign as we cross into them and I hope to find fun sites along the way to stop at! We will have quite a distance to cover in just three and a half days.
This review isn’t of a zoo, per say, but it is of an aquarium that is very special to me. Today I am reviewing the Mote Marine Laboratory, an aquarium, research facility, and marine animal hospital in Sarasota, FL. This aquarium was the sole reason I moved to Florida in January. I moved here for an internship at the aquarium’s sea turtle and whale hospital. It was an experience that changed my life.
I may be a little biased here, but I highly recommend this aquarium to vacationers. Founded by Eugenie Clark back in 1955, Mote has been a strong research facility since. The main building of the aquarium houses a variety of different fish species, sharks, and the sea lion show during its season, along with most of the research offices. There are various research projects underway including coral conservation, shark research, sea horse breeding, and more. One famous shark scientist, Nick Whitney, who has been seen on tv various times, does his research through Mote Marine and was a member of the OSEARCH research team.
The second building houses the marine mammals and sea turtles of the aquarium as well as the research offices for these animals. There is a pantropical spotted dolphin named Moonshine, two manatees named Hugh and Buffett, and a variety of sea turtles who were deemed non-releasable after being rescued and doing a stint in the hospital.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgebvNY_mgE]
The second building is also where the Sea Turtle & Whale Hospital is located. This is where I interned for forty hours a week from January until April. Below you will see pictures of some of the turtles we rehabilitated along with a video of one being released. This internship was amazing. I met great friends, worked with wonderful staff, and learned so much. I wouldn’t change a thing about my internship and I was definitely sad to see it end.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-1-xK6FOag]
I recommend visiting Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium if you ever find yourself in the Sarasota area. And I definitely recommend their internship program to anyone interested in that line of work. It is definitely worth it.